Five Top Japanese Beauty Products to Try in October
September may be the official start to autumn in Japan, but the temperatures usually don't really start to drop until October. This month is a great time to pamper yourself with long baths and to start adding in a serum or moisturizing mask to prepare for even colder weather to come.
Hada Labo Koi-Gokujyun Whitening Perfect Gel
One of the biggest misconceptions about whitening products is that they will actually lighten the skin colour, but in reality most beauty products that tout themselves as “whitening” are in fact skin brightening products. So if you are after a product that helps revitalise dull, tired skin or to help (slowly) fade stubborn dark patches left from mild acne, maybe it’s time to try a product like Hada Labo’s Koi-Gokujyun Whitening Perfect Gel (¥1,980). This whitening gel contains the key brightening ingredient, Arbutin. Arbutin works to suppress the production of excess melanin that creates freckles and dark spots on the skin. As well as brightening the skin, this gel is also highly moisturizing, as it contains Hada Labo’s famous Gokujyun hyaluronic acid and vitamin C. The gel has a thick consistency, so your skin can feel quite sticky after application. I recommend using it as a “sleeping mask” by applying a generous amount of the clear gel to a clean face and then leaving it overnight. After a week of consistently using this mask each night, my skin was definitely brighter and clearer.
Mote Mascara Long Eyelash Care
After almost a year of wearing eyelash extensions, my natural lashes were definitely in need of a break and a little TLC, but after having extensions for so long going au naturel can be a difficult transition. After much searching I have found the fantastic Mote Mascara Long (¥1,800) with eyelash care that nourishes your lashes and delivers a seriously doe eyed look. The result is long, classic, fan-shaped eyelashes in a dense, natural black. The mascara has a clever curved brush with short bristles on one side and long on the other. The trick is to try and place the short side of the brush right at the base of the lashes, wiggle the brush a little and then brush up through the length of the lashes. As the brush is designed to fit tightly at the base of the the lashes, it separates each lash and doesn’t clump. At the end of the day, Mote Mascara was easily removed with warm water.
Sekkisei Sun Protect Essence Gel SPF 50+
This ultra lightweight gel contains the famous Sekkisei oriental plants essence. By combining powerful sun protection and a skin treatment essence, this product delivers multiple benefits and makes it a fantastic product to add to your daily routine when you are short on time. Firstly, of course it protects the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays that cause sun damage and age the skin, but the Sekkisei essence also helps brighten and hydrate the skin, and protect it from environmental aggressors such as smoke and air pollution. The gel blends easily and smoothly on the skin with no sticky residue, preparing it beautifully for makeup application, so you don’t need worry about applying a primer. With so many benefits in one product, Sekkisei Sun Protect Essence Gel (¥2,800) will quickly become a mainstay in your beauty bag.
Tune & Makers Ceramide 200
A new discovery this month is the brand Tune & Makers, which I stumbled across in the Hikarie Building in Shibuya in a store called American Pharmacy. Tune & Makers makes small bottles of highly concentrated serums that are developed for every type of skin concern including dryness, dullness, roughness, pores and aging. Each of the serums are designed to apply directly to your skin after washing, and be followed by lotion and cream. One of the best-selling serums in the Tune & Makers range is Ceramide 200 (¥1,944), which delivers a high concentration of nano-ceramides to soothe and plump very dry skin. Simply apply the serum to clean skin where needed and then follow with lotion and cream. The benefit of using a highly concentrated serum such as this one is that it’s easy to target problem areas, such as flaky dry skin on your cheeks, which is ideal when you have combination skin.
Fancy Bathroom Bath Salts
Cooler autumn nights call for the return of a long, hot soak in the bath at the end of the day. In Japan of course, the simple act of having a bath is serious business, with a strong and unique culture of public bath houses and visiting onsen. But even at home, having a bath at the end of the day can be a spa-like experience with an incredible array of Japanese bath salts on offer. Even at the local drugstore, the range of bath salts can be mind-boggling. There are bath salts to warm the body, cool the body, help you lose weight, or relax the mind. Tokyu Hands and Loft both have an impressive selection of Japanese bath salts sold in individual sachets that make it easy to pick and choose a few to try, without having to commit to the jumbo size packs that you find at the drugstore. My current favorites are the beautifully designed, and equally lovely smelling Fancy Bathroom bath salts. There are eight beautiful variations to choose from, my favorites being “Meteoric Shower Night” (relaxing chamomile and lavender) and “Blooming in Rose Garden.” Made of natural ingredients, these salts feel and smell so indulgent and the cleverly designed tea bag style pack ensures that the you don’t have to worry about cleaning the dried flower petals from the bath afterwards.